PARTNERSHIP. Labor Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma (2nd from left) and Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco (2nd from right) show the memorandum of understanding they signed at the Conrad Hotel in Pasay City on Tuesday (Aug. 30, 2022). The MOU is for the staging of a multi-month tourism job fair during the Hotels Supplier Show to be held at the SMX Convention Center at the Mall of Asia from September 22 to 24. (PNA photo by Avito Dalan)

MANILA – The government-led tourism job fairs, starting in September, will help address tourism labor shortages in the Philippines, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said Tuesday.

The department, together with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), formally signed on August 30 the memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the staging of the "Trabaho, Turismo, Asenso! National Tourism Jobs Fair".

"Displaced workers are definitely a priority of the Department of Tourism in partnership with the Department of Labor and Employment. So what we intend to do is to give tourism job opportunities both to displaced workers, fresh graduates, and those wanting to shift into a career in the tourism industry," Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco told reporters in an interview.

Based on the latest data from the DOLE, more than 12,000 tourism workers were displaced in more than 700 establishments due to the pandemic in the first half of this year alone.

As the sector slowly recovers, several businesses are now rushing to fill gaps in job vacancies – an issue Frasco said was a "matter of linking the demand with the supply."

"This Trabaho, Turismo, Asenso is specifically designed to link the demand with the supply and so we anticipate that a number of employers would join this and a lot of applicants would participate," she said.

As of August 27, about 279 establishments surveyed by the DOT, have reported at least 1,186 regular vacancies and 240 part-time jobs.

The multi-month campaign will be launched during the Hotels Supplier Show at the SMX Convention Center at the Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City from September 22 to 24.

It will conclude in May 2023, with the two other venues to be held in SM City Cebu and SM Lanang in Davao City.

The MOU was signed by Frasco and Labor Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma, and witnessed by Tourism Undersecretary Ferdinand Jumapao and Labor Undersecretary Paul Vincent Añover at the Conrad Hotel. (PNA)